Grand SlamsRoger FedererUS Open

Federer Makes Light Work of Mayer at US Open

One of the toughest first round matches Federer had ever faced in his career supposedly but this one was over in a mere 1 hour and 17 minutes as the Swiss dispatched Leonardo Mayer 6-1 6-2 6-2 to make serene progress into Round 2.

Based on their Shanghai meeting last year, where Roger saved 5 match points, this looked like it could be a close encounter but Federer played at such a fast tempo that Mayer had no answers. Combine that with the high humidity and the Argentine had no breathing room, sending down 7 double faults which helped Federer break twice in each set to get the job done with zero fuss.

Quick Match Recap

Federer vs Mayer US Open 1st Rnd 2015

Federer opened things up with a hold from 0-30 to lead 1-0. Mayer then slipped from 30-0 and 40-30 up to drop serve, hitting 3 double faults in the game including one on break point.

Momentum was instantly on Federer's side with the early break and he consolidated it to 15 to lead 3-0. In game 4 we got the first sabr return of the US Open which forced Mayer into a double fault, the Argentine went onto drop serve for a second time.

Roger looked set to move up 5-0 at 40-15 but Mayer reeled off 3 points in a row to fashion his first break point. Fed saved it with an ace, hitting a another at deuce then holding for 5-0. The set played out with zero drama as Fed took it 6-1.

Into set 2 and Mayer, still delivering double faults at key moments, got a much needed service game on the board for 1-0. Federer quickly levelled and in game 5 broke to lead 3-2, again courtesy of a Mayer double fault. A hold to love followed and at 4-2 we got 2 sabr returns in one game as Fed broke again to lead 5-2. He served out the set 6-2 easily to take a two set to love lead hitting a slamdunk smash on set point.

Set 3 was more of the same as Fed broke early to take a 2-1 lead. A weird serve volley play from Mayer on break point who looked bereft of ideas. 3-1 soon became 4-1, again with another service line return and although Mayer held for 2-5 he couldn't stop the Fed express as the Swiss served it out 6-2 to book his spot in the 2nd round.

Match Stats

Stats Leonardo Mayer Roger Federer
Aces 1 12
Double faults 7 5
1st serves in 40/70 (57%) 43/66 (65%)
1st serve points won 21/40 (53%) 36/43 (84%)
2nd serve points won 14/30 (47%) 14/23 (61%)
Fastest serve 129 MPH 125 MPH
Average 1st serve speed 119 MPH 115 MPH
Average 2nd serve speed 104 MPH 93 MPH
Net points won 4/10 (40%) 15/24 (63%)
Break points won 0/1 (0%) 6/9 (67%)
Receiving points won 16/66 (24%) 35/70 (50%)
Winners 13 29
Unforced errors 31 13
Total points won 51 85
Distance Covered (Feet) 2990 3295.9
Dist. Covered/Pt. (Feet) 22 24.2

Shot of the Match

Thoughts on the Match

Federer US Open 2015 Mayer

All very routine here for the GOAT as he made light work of a player unlucky not to be seeded at this years Open. I wasn't sure what to expect prior to the match (I predicted straights but with close set scores), but as soon as Fed held from 0-30 and broke early you just knew it was going to be a good day at the office.

We've seen many times when Fed has a tough match against a non Top 5-10 opponent he usually handles them easily the next time they meet and this one went the exact same way. Mayer was instantly under the cosh and Fed just kept his foot on the gas; playing at a lightning quick pace both during and between points to completely take Mayer out of it. The Argentine looked rushed, couldn't seem to slow down the tempo of the match (a la the master Nadal) and as a result he made 31 unforced errors, hit 7 double faults and won just 51 points compared to the 85 points of the Swiss. The mental implications of the Shanghai loss can't be overlooked here either, it might be 12 months ago but it looked like they all came flooding back when Mayer stepped on court today hitting 3 doubles faults in his first service game.

As for Federer he was just solid in everything, served well when he needed to, mixed it up nicely throwing in 5 service line return plays and taking the ball really early to keep the initiative. Only 1 break point faced, saved in style and the numbers are all pretty clean.

Matchup aside – the court looks to be playing pretty quickly. Federer said pre tournament the ball flies more in NY than in Cincy, and on court today he said that it played faster than Shanghai (talking about last years close match against Mayer). The wind has also been eradicated due to the roof structure so it looks like Ashe is playing almost like a quick indoor court which should aid Fed. Early days of course but here's hoping πŸ™‚

We've also seen in these opening rounds that the heat looks to be a factor with numerous players cramping and retiring due to fatigue. Nadal said he was dehydrated after his 4 set win, Kokkinakis, Gulbis etc. have all retired mid match and a lot of the guys appear to be struggling. So it's going to be important here to conserve energy in the early rounds and recover quickly; time for Daniel Troxler to earn his money πŸ˜‰

Predictions vs. Baghdatis / Darcis

Next up is Steve Darcis who beat Marcos Baghdatis who retired at 3-1 down in the fourth set. I had a feeling Baghdatis would struggle here after all the retirements so far coupled with the fact he has a track record of being injury prone and has pulled out of five matches over the last 18 months.

Darcis doesn't exactly have an injury free record either so I think he's easy pickings for Federer. They've never played before but aside from Darcis' big win against Nadal at Wimbledon he's not really done much on the Tour, playing a mixture of ATP events and challengers. His best results have been on hard court this year though at Montpellier and Indian Wells so he might offer some resistance early on but I'll pick Fed in 3. 6-4 6-2 6-1.

Let me know what you thought of the match, and also let me know how many service line return / SABR (Sneaky attack by Roger) we will see in Round 2. I predicted 5 in Round 1 which was right on the money!


Huge fan of Roger Federer. I watch all his matches from Grand Slam level right down to ATP 250. When I'm not watching or writing about tennis I play regularly myself and have a keen interest in tactics, equipment and technicalties of the sport.

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  1. Sorry. first *.
    I was in a hurry.
    Good win for Federer and quick one too. He has to save energy ;). Mayer was really clueless there.
    1 win 6 to go. Go Fed ;).

    1. Couldn’t watch so I had to follow it via the US Open web. Great numbers for Roger… And great that he wasn’t too long on court.
      Vamos Roger!

    1. Hello Susie… At first I thought I was reading a spelling mistake so I over looked it. Silly me I didn’t realise that it was an acronym. My bad. Lol.
      By the way u spelled it as Sab and then a r I thought you were mentioning my nick name as Sab is what my friendsand ffamily call me. I think I might change it now and add the R. Lol.
      Anyways good win. Is it me as I saw the highlights and this year it does seem alot faster and similar speed as Cincinnati. Please do not kill me as my assessment is simply based on You Tube video posts. Therefore to my untrained eye it does seem as fast as the last tournament. If it is fast then I hope it is a good omen for this Open. But I won’t get ahead of myself so one match at a time. 1 down 6 to go. Come on Roger.
      Ps. For Jonathan …. Great Post as usual. Plus quick upload. Cheers mate for your analysis. Keep up the good work. Serajul. ( SAB (R). ) lol.

      1. It looked to be playing quick and Fed said it is too so I think safe to say it is a quicker court. Fed said it was quicker than Shanghai, which I thought looked fast last year, aside from those low bouncing Srixon balls…

  2. Well, Mayer played pretty poorly – obviously gifted first break to Federer and away he went. Feds has always been a great front-runner and once he gets the bit between his teeth, it’s usually all over for his opponent. Well done on the sabr guess Jonathan – I said 8, but then I wasn’t really expecting a 6-1,6-2,6-2 beat-down πŸ˜‰

    Loved the slamdunk volley at end of second set. Feds is going all cheeky/naughty on us – such fun for him and for us. πŸ˜† May it continue a very long way into the second week. Go Maestro!

  3. Thanks Jonathan, for super fast blogging – and as always well spirited descriptions – But – sigh – the video has been removed truly fast also…at least from my computer..

  4. 1st serve % improved over the course of the match- I think it was only 55% in set 1. How did you get that SABR number EXACTLY right Jonathan? πŸ˜‰ He played lightning-quick; The very first time I checked scores, the first set was already over.

    Good point about the roof affecting wind conditions. Loved that point to take set 2! Very encouraging first match.

    I felt so bad for Kokkinakis, he’d played with so much heart.

    Troicki has taken the first set over Tiafoe, but the kid pushed him to 7-5.

    1. I did it with 10% Luck, 20% Skill, 15% Concentrated Power of Will, 5% Pleasure, 50% Pain.

      Good win for Rusty Hewitt. Kokk was having to serve underarm, ton of retirements.

      1. Ha ha ha. .. good one with your % . I have forgotten the name of the group but theres the hip hop song with the same montage of winning. My version of the song is ” 90% useless, 5% no luck and 5% no wins etc etc “. Lol the story of my life! !!

  5. Speedy write up Jonathan thank you. Great start for Fast Fed too, and with sabr to discombobulate as needed and the faster conditions, this must all play favourably into his confidence levels and ability to go deep in NYC.

    Rafa sweating buckets with his stack of towels and players retiring left , right and centre cramping and so forth the roof shadows and this year the lack of wind on court. There are a lot of factors and adjustments the young players just can’t cope with it seems and what about all these crazy interviews even one done mid match. Not sure I enjoy the US networks approach to Tennis but Fed advancing makes it all worthwhile. Onwards to the next test. Allez

    1. Yeah I saw that, Coco Vandriver doing a mid match interview. Fed said he’s not sure about it but would probably do it. Just a gimmicky idea I think, dunno how it makes it more interesting for the fan.

      “I understand the idea, but what’s too much? What’s enough? All these things. I understand pushing the boundaries and being more accessible. For me, in some ways it’s — I haven’t done it in 17 years, so why start now? At the same time, you might think, Who cares, you know? Honestly I think I’m pretty relaxed when I’m sitting there at the change of ends. But you don’t want it to impact your game and you don’t want to look back and think, What a stupid move that was in hindsight, you know”

    2. The fuck? You’re telling me, there was a mid-match interview, during changeovers, when players need time to think, and focus? And they are fucking answering questions? Who, the, fuck, came up with this idea for a tennis match? Who the fuck? What the fuck?

  6. Blink and you’ll miss it! Very good performance to kick off the campaign and also surprising that ‘sabr’ (LOL Dorkerer on full display) was pulled out quite a few times. J, I think you should create a ‘sabr’ stat in your match stats table. Fave shots of the match was the around the net FH and the dunk-shot smash on set point. My feelings on the kit remain unchanged, then again I don’t think I’ll be satisfied by anything other than Darth-Fed in NY. I was thinking the same thing about Ashe looking/playing like an indoor court now, be interesting to see how that affects things later in the tournament. Next up Darcis- don’t think these two have ever played, only remember the guy coming close to taking Nadal out at Wimbledon not long ago. Was looking forward to an old school match between him and Marcos but I guess not. Anyone know what the retirement count is upto after day 2? Unfortunate for those who missed out but players gotta make their $$$ somehow.

    1. Darcis beat Nadal at Wimbledon, straight sets πŸ™‚

      I had a feeling Baggy would struggle considering so many retirements. Although my predictions to for Kudla to take out Berdych is gone. And Gulbis won’t be making the fourth round πŸ˜€

  7. I quite like the shirt. They could get rid of the pink in the headband, shorts though.
    I feel for the players having to retire. Pospisil one of the victims of the heat with severe cramping.
    Now to watch the match and enjoy!

    1. I don’t like the half and half colours. Looks like an accident with a sowing machine. Or a disgruntled employee in one of Nike’s sweat shops deciding to put together scraps from the floor πŸ˜†

      1. Well I half agree with Jonathan’s humorous comparing, – but – seeing Roger running about and looking at him from the side so both colors appearing at the same tide, I kind of like it very much – Roger as split lightening

      2. I’m with Jonathan – detest it. From the front, not too high up, it almost looks ok – almost like a sweater vest. Then you realize the color & design is just splatted on the front of a plain white shirt. Eeeewwwwww.

        And as I feared, the teal – which is pretty good on its own – looks totally wrong against the very clear green & blue of the USO courts.

  8. I am very happy with Roger’s win today. Yesterday, Djokovic kept yapping about his “dominant” win against a nobody and today Roger did the same to the Number 33 player in the world. Safe to say, Roger made Nole eat his words.

    I love it that the court is playing fast especially with the roof that eliminates the wind. That being said, the conditions would aid both Roger and Novak. What is upsetting is that after next Thursday, the temperature will drop a bit and it won’t be in the high 90s which I think is key for Roger. He needs that ultra fast conditions to punish Novak.

    On the other hand, at least his stamina should be well preserved if he plays efficiently and mercilessly. We’ll see. So far, I am impressed. Keep it up, Roger. You’re looking good to finally make the final. Whether you have enough in order to win it – we shall see! πŸ™‚ Let’s hope that Sid is right about his predictions. πŸ™‚

  9. Lightening Tennis from Roger! Good job in shutting down a good opponent. Have to Agree that its more consistent out there with the Roof as Rafa and Roger pointed out. I have heard many talk about the fact that The Courts at New york are slower than Cincy. Well from what I saw yesterday they looked pretty lightening fast too (or maybe its just me).
    I am not going talk about the weather for week 2 just yet. A good way start your US open Campaign Fed!

    I am no expert. But I just have this feeling that the roof is going to aid Djokovic a bit more and had the construction taken place in 2012, Djokovic would have certainly won 2 straight US open titles.
    Rogers outfit is pretty nice too, the shoes especially looked pretty cool. Not sure about the night reverse dath outfit.
    Anyways, a wins a win! πŸ™‚

    1. Fed said they were fast, and they looked it. Mayer looked rushed.

      I think the lack of wind deffo aids Djoker, his indoor record is impressive and he’s struggled with wind in NY before. So has Berdscat.

  10. I only watched set 3. Mayer didn’t look so fit physically/mentally. Somehow his body/mind refused to respond to the machine gun work from the other side. Roger just clicked an intermediate gear and that was all it took to get the job done and get back to the safe haven fast to have some rest and sing a few lullabies to the kids!

    PS: There is an abnormally high number of retirements. Sign o’ the times? Bodies suffering from the modern tennis paradigm?…

  11. This Argentine guy called Leonardo Mayer
    Never did he once look like the same player
    Who in Shanghai against Fed had 5 MPs
    But in NY just got blown away with ease

  12. I was just looking at the forecast and I know that things can change but it seems like the heat and humidity will last maybe until next Thursday. Then Friday – Subday, the temperatures will drop to like 76-79 degrees F.

    It pisses me off because those conditions would make it easier for Djokovic. In any case, I suppose making the final would be great but winning would require the balls to fly so that Djokovic would struggle on the return. It’s enough that Djokovic doesn’t have Murray in his half. Nishikori lost. Now, just like at Wimbledon, the conditions will change. It was nice and sunny on that Friday when Roger beat Murray and then on Sunday, the conditions were cloudy and rainy which benefited Djokovic.

    I know that probably I am being way too negative right now. I just want to catch a break and be in the best possible position to win this. I know he can! He just needs a bit if help and a bit of luck to go his way!

    1. Vily, don’t put yourself down. Many people think there is only positive or negative. There isn’t, because there is also realism, which is what you are. The odds ( with the draw ) are exceptionally stacked with that Serb guy getting to the final so for anyone to think otherwise is absolutely delusional…

    1. I was going to guess you were in Prison but this is 2015, you get Wi-Fi, TV and an Xbox in there so rules it out.

      Serious questions need to be asked about the planning of your trip though. Poor timing πŸ˜†

  13. Looking at from the good side, I think that Roger has several things going in his favor:

    1. He’s WELL Rested. Not only did he win Cincy and not play Montreal also but he managed to win it without getting broken. Last year he played a bunch of 3-setters in Toronto and Cincy so he was pretty warped. He did well to squeak by Monfils but he was toast after that. I would like to believe that Roger’s tank is still pretty full and should only be drained little by little. LOL

    2. Roger has made 3 straight finals and overall 8 finals this year with a 5-3 record. I believe last year he was also with 8 finals going into the U.S. Open but he was with 3-5 record.

    3. He is serving good but even more important than that he is finally getting that 1-2 punch combo that is so vital to him. In his prime, he would hit his spots and KO the opponent with a great forehand. For a while, that combo wasn’t as good. But in the last couple of months. His form is so good that it’s allowing him to do it and that is key against players like Djokovic and Murray so that Roger can hold serve easily.

    4. Roger invented the SABR (Sneak Attack by Roger) so that is another wrinkle in his return game.

    Obviously these things are supposed to offset his age and the difficult draw. Djokovic is making that final no matter what because he’s made like 10 straight finals. It’s rediculous. That being said, I am pretty pumped about Roger. I was worried prior to the first match but now I am a bit more calm. I can see him going pretty far. But we’ll see. Anyway, that’s what I had to say about Roger as of now. ;-))

  14. I am new to this blog but I have got to know that is a perfect place for fed fans.
    Jonathan u r doing a wonderful job and your articles are just great.
    I feel that fed is a playing as good as ever and has a wonderful chance to clinch the title and I read somewhere that the courts will get faster as the tournament progresses.Just praying federer wins us open

    1. Hey Pranshul, cheers for the feeback.

      The courts should in theory get faster as the top coat gets smoother the more players are running over it. Less friction on the ball.

  15. Looking at the draw, I see one guy that if he catches fire may take out Djokovic. The guy is Tsonga. I see that he’s in the top half in the Nishikori quarter. I see who is there and I can see him navigating through the draw and making that semi. Djokovic will get some bumps and bruises – nothing big along the way and he’ll make that semi too. And then we’ll see. The thing with Tsonga is that the guy is scary – he can take out Novak but he can also take out Roger so it will be very interesting to see what will happen. But just looking at the draw I see an opportunity for Joe Willie…

    For Roger obviously it would be nice to see Berdych lose but we shouldn’t count on it since he has made the QFs in 2014 and also the semis in 2012. So we’ll see.

    Also it will be interesting to see what will happen with Wawrinka and Murray as well. I am counting on them meeting there. So we’ll see. Tsonga is intriguing me and scaring me too – what if he takes our Novak and then beats Roger – that would be rough… And I know he can ignite so we have to be careful.

    1. Yeah, Tsonga can cause serious damage to anyone if he’s in the right mood. Djokovic is vulnerable to big servers, so I think Raonic can cause problems for him, but I don’t know how his current form is. Looks like Murray is in big trouble already. As I’m writing this he’s two sets down in his match, so he probably won’t have much left in the tank if he makes it to the later stages.

      1. Ah, but have you seen any signs that Tsonga *is* in the “right mood”?

        I’m not sure how badly Murray is likely to have been affected by last night’s match: his fitness is usually so good, although 5 unnecessary sets surely can’t be helpful. Apparently he has a cold or something.

    2. Dunno why you are worried about Tsonga beating Fed πŸ˜† they wouldn’t meet until the final.

      I would also question Tsonga’s ability to challenge Djoker, look at the year he has had. Hasn’t beaten anyone of note.

    1. Excellent article. I wasn’t a great fan of his game, but I was impressed that he was able to get himself to peak fitness and fight his way into the top ten. And you’ve got to admire his honesty regarding his mental health issues – that shows great strength, not weakness. I’m glad he was able to face his fears at the end, go out on his own terms, and in his last match show what a great competitor he was. Thanks Guilherme.

      1. Nice. Honest and open-hearted. Not many have the guts to expose themselves so frankly.
        (I’ve had a couple of panic attacks in the past, too – mostly related to work -, until I forced my self into controlling them. Believe me: it’s not easy.)

    2. Fish was good to watch. One of my fave matches was Fed vs Fish in Cincy few years back. Some awesome points as Fish was redlining. Used to give Murray a tough time too which was always good to watch.

  16. Good workout against Darcis, in spite of some strange tectonic movements that caused the court to tilt upwards always on Roger’s side… Go figure.

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